"Fine by me" seems like an unusual use of the word 'by'. Is it unique, or are there other cases like this? Is there a special term for this specific pattern?


It is in the sense of "according to" or "with respect to" mentioned in all good dictionaries.

  • Thanks -- yes, I see on m-w.com that the least frequent usage given is: in the opinion of / from the point of view of <okay by me>. So that confirms it's unusual, but not whether it's unique, since that example matches mine above. Are there any other cases like this? – jimmy_joyce Mar 6 '14 at 16:53
  • To elaborate: does this usage only occur in this pattern? I could try to say "it's no good by you" or "it's intriguing by the reviewer", but I've never heard the former, and the latter sounds invalid. – jimmy_joyce Mar 6 '14 at 17:01
  • It's not completely unique; "okay by me" "fine by him", "okay by them", and so forth, are also used. The OED has "is jake by me" and "if that's all right by you" and specify "in expressions indicating agreement". They don't mention any other similar usages, though. – Peter Shor Mar 6 '14 at 17:43
  • @PeterShor thank you; this seems to be the most relevant response with regard to the question. Want to repost as an answer? Ben, according to this entry on m-w.com, 6b: according to; 7b: with respect to; and 11: in the opinion of; are each distinct, with this usage being #11, do you concur? – jimmy_joyce Mar 6 '14 at 19:51

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